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Shepherd Center Spinal Cord Injury Model System Changes Name To Reflect Growth

(ATLANTA -- Feb. 11, 2010) Recently, the Georgia Spinal Cord Injury Model System (SCIMS) at Shepherd Center became the “Southeastern Regional Spinal Cord Injury Model System at Shepherd Center.”

This name change reflects the expanded reach of Shepherd’s Model System since its inception in 1982. Today, it is the largest SCI Model System in the United States.

The SCIMS program at Shepherd is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), a part of the U.S. Department of Education. Since 1982, Shepherd has competed successfully for continued funding six times and is now one of 14 designated facilities nationwide. The current five-year grant cycle ends Oct. 1, 2011, at which time Shepherd anticipates renewed funding from 2011 to 2016.

“At the inception of the SCIMS at Shepherd, Georgia was the home state for the majority of patients admitted to the program,” said medical director emeritus David Apple, M.D., who co-directs the SCIMS with Lesley M. Hudson, M.A. “As recently as a decade ago, 66 percent of patients admitted to Shepherd were Georgians.

“But in the past decade, Shepherd’s referral network has grown beyond Georgia to include all of the Southeast and other regions of the country, as well,” Dr. Apple noted. The hospital saw a 51 percent increase from 1999 to 2009 in the number of patients referred to Shepherd from regional states in the Southeast.

“The staff of the Southeastern Regional SCIMS at Shepherd Center looks forward to serving patients from the Southeast and beyond as the facility continues to expand programs and services,” Dr. Apple added.

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About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center provides world-class clinical care, research, and family support for people experiencing the most complex conditions, including spinal cord and brain injuries, multi-trauma, traumatic amputations, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and pain. An elite center recognized as both Spinal Cord Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s top hospitals for rehabilitation. Shepherd Center treats thousands of patients annually with unmatched expertise and unwavering compassion to help them begin again.